This seminar series – supported by funding from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities of King’s College London – brings together a range of international researchers and academics exploring new topics and ideas around the development of creative economies in Africa. We aim to hold 6 online seminars in the next 18 months. The seminars are open to all. If you would like to receive updates via email please subscribe to our mailing list.
Seminar 1: Creative economies across platforms and digital economies
18th March 2024 1-2.15pm UK Time Online ( Zoom Registration)
The first seminar will include two papers. Locating African Cultural Agency in the Global Digital Economy: The Case of Music Platform Insider Activists by Jaana Serres (University of Groningen
While academic literature commonly denounces the corporate takeover, or recolonization, of African cultural industries associated with digital capitalism, African music stakeholders widely enact digital platforms as political vehicles to be seized upon for resistance against global marginalization. The past few years have witnessed a significant evolution in platforms’ intermediary function—from the Chinese-owned Boomplay and American startup Audiomack that dominate the continent’s music streaming market, to the GAFA’s newly aggressive strategy in Africa—they have emerged as actors of African music industries. Moving beyond the academic focus on data colonialism and the reproduction of hegemonies through algorithmic bias, this presentation foregrounds the self-identified “African” agents who steer these corporations and the symbolic, economic, and affective practices that they mediate in order to account for the hopes and political stakes invested into platform capitalism from the continent.
Jaana Serres is a postdoctoral researcher in media, cultural industries, and society at the University of Groningen. From 2018 to 2021, she was the Ioma Evans‐Pritchard scholar in the social anthropology of Africa at Oxford University, where she completed her PhD on the “Africa to the world” movement through the lens of the Nigerian music industry. Prior to her academic career, Jaana practiced law in New York, Paris and London, where she advised multilateral organizations, African governments, and multinational corporations.
Locating African Cultural Agency in the Global Digital Economy: The Case of Music Platform sider Activists